New York City has long been a promised land for architects and designers from all over the world. What better stage on which to showcase a groundbreaking design than NYC’s hallowed skyline? The trend of international creatives contributing to New York’s unique aesthetic has been booming of late.
Here we take a look at some of the most inspiring projects happening now:
432 Park Avenue will shortly be home to one of Manhattan’s most exciting international new buildings. Uruguayan-born Rafael Viñoly is the brain behind the 1,397-foot aluminum and glass tower, which upon completion will be the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Floor-to-ceiling windows will allow an abundance of light to flood into the building. From outside, 432 Park Avenue will be clean-cut and instantly recognizable, even from miles away.
While the American company Skidmore, Owings and Merrill is behind One World Trade Center (they succeeded Polish-born Daniel Libeskind), some of its counterparts are to have a distinctively international design. Two World Trade Center will be the masterwork of Sir Norman Foster (Wembley Stadium, 30 St Mary Axe, Hong Kong’s HSBC Building). Foster’s 79-story skyscraper will climax in a sloping, four-diamond-shaped roof, tilted toward Memorial Park. Italian-born Brit Richard Rogers (Pompidou Center, Millennium Dome) has been contracted to design Three World Trade Center, a proposed seven story structure which will replace the hotel that stood there before. Meanwhile, Four World Trade Center – which from floors 48 through 63 will be in the shape of a trapezoid – has been designed by the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Spiral Building).
The international influence on New York’s structures doesn’t stop at buildings either. The High Line elevated park may have been designed by James Corner’s New York-based landscape architecture firm Field Operations, but engineering is by the UK’s Buro Happold, planting design is by the Netherlands’ Piet Oudolf, and lighting is by L’Observatoire International.
Fusing Art and Architecture
56 Leonard Street is being hailed as an unprecedented collaboration between art and architecture. The building itself, a Herzog & de Meuron (the Swiss visionaries behind Beijing National Stadium and Elbe Philharmonic Hall) gem, consists of 145 spatially innovative homes, stacked in such a way that they will create a 60-story structure seemingly cascading toward the ground. It’s on the ground level that 56 Leonard’s art comes into play.
Here, seamlessly worked into a nook of the building, will float a huge stainless steel bubble, created by Indian-born British sculptor Anish Kapoor. The work will be Kapoor’s first permanent NYC instalment, which is set to have art and architecture lovers alike foaming at the mouth.
Meanwhile, at Huys, the Dutch moniker for these distinctive luxury Gramercy condominiums was no accident. Huys was created by Dutch design maven, Piet Boon, who designed the interiors as well as the exterior of the building, which puts a modern, Dutch-rooted spin on classic New York architecture. In fact, Boon was so granularly involved in the process that he ensured each condominium would come equipped with a bespoke leather dining banquette (of his own design).
Similarly, Huys’s stunning roof terrace also has a Dutch twist thanks to Boon’s fellow designer and countryman, Piet Oudolf — most famous in NYC for his involvement in the creation of the innovative High Line public park (detailed above).